Want to try a 29er for free? Read this post! (spam?)- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    Frame Building Moderator
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    Want to try a 29er for free? Read this post! (spam?)

    Free frames. Yes, that's right. Keep reading.

    Cloxxi - if this is too blatantly commercial, please delete the thread with my apologies. For what it's worth, I don't stand to directly make any money from this.

    Ok, here's the situation. I really like 29ers. Some of you may remember me as the grumpy skeptic who used to pick arguments on this board (remember the "scientific study" that proved 29ers faster?) Well, the joke is on me, as I've been riding and loving my 29er for the last 4 months or so. I will never ride 26" wheels again, unless I'm on my dirtjumper. I still have my doubts about that "science", but I know what I like, and I love my 29" wheels. You can have 'em when you pry them from my cold, dead.... well, you get the picture.

    Many of the people on this list post a question about where they can find a 29er to try, but it seems they are often discouraged from giving one a shot for one or more of the following reasons:
    1) Short on cash, can't afford frame, fork, wheelset, tires. Even going totally cheapskate, this usually adds up to at least $500 ($90 KM fork, $200 used KM frame, $100 cheap wheels, $50-100 tires/tubes).
    2) No 29ers available at my local shops, or my local shops won't let me try one except in the parking lot.
    3) Don't know anyone who has one they'll loan to me.

    Here's my proposed solution. I build frames, previously as a hobby, and now as a full fledged business (though I'm not about to quit my day job). So:

    1) I will build several relatively heavy, cheap (think mostly lower-end cromoly tubing - probably frame weights around 4.5-5 pounds) and generic geometry 29er frames and a couple of beefy (36 spoke, touring rims) wheelsets. I have at least one Karate Monkey fork sitting in the shop, and I can easily order in a few more. I'll put some 29er tires on the wheels and put tubes in the tires, and I'll put disc tabs AND canti bosses on so that all you'll need to build the frame up will be your current bike parts and some elbow grease.

    2) I will offer these frames to ANYONE for FREE, though I'll have to require some kind of deposit to make sure that nobody decides to walk off with a frame.

    Here's how I imagine it working:
    - Pay a $300 deposit (paypal, credit card, whatever) to cover my costs in case you decide to take the bike and flee to Mexico or something.
    - I ship you a frame, fork, and wheelset (shipping costs are deducted from your deposit). You get to keep these items for 2 weeks, in which time you can ride them as much as you want. If you break something through idiocy or neglect, it comes out of your deposit.
    - You pay NO fees to "rent" the parts. This is merely a trial, and as such there's no charge. I can't officially "rent" you a bike anyway, my insurance doesn't cover it.
    - Likewise, if you don't return the frame at least vaguely on time, I keep some portion of your deposit.
    - You're responsible for returning the parts in their original condition unless we agree that something broke and it wasn't your fault.

    3) After the trial period, if you want to get a 29er, you're all set (of course, I'd love to build you one, but I have no real beef with people getting ANY 29er, since many of them are made by independent framebuilders like me - and Gary Fisher and Surly are good companies too). And if you decide 29ers aren't for you, you've only lost the cost of shipping the frame from me to you and back - probably $50-60 at most (unless you live outside the US).

    Want your SO to try a 29er? Got a friend that you don't trust with your precious 29er that keeps bugging you to borrow it? Live in a cave in Wyoming and haven't seen one around yet? Want to get to beat on someone else's frame and wheels without having to pay for the privelege? Then this is the deal for you.

    Does this sound like a worthwhile idea to you guys and gals? Would anyone be interested in trying a frame? If nobody wants to do it, I won't waste my time building them, but I believe in the 29er enough that I'm willing to make an effort if I think it'll get more people on big wheels. And if some of those people get frames from me, so much the better. I know that most of the people on this board already have a 29er (or two!) but if you think you know someone that would like to try one out, have them contact me.

    Once again, apologies if this post is inappropriate.

    -Walt

  2. #2
    mcd
    mcd is offline
    uh, uh...oh, i forget
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    wow!

    i am actually in the process of building back up my old steel rigid 26er as a test to see if i can go back rigid after spending the last year or so on a FS. i am very intrigued by the 29 concept and have been lurking here for a while. I have a pretty limited budget and would have to go rigid to get into the scene and your offer seems pretty ideal as there are no testers around. i'll be the first to line up...
    my email= mertnic at yahoo dot com

  3. #3
    The Duuude, man...
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    Walt, this sounds nice, but other questions and concerns come up. For instance, what color will the frames be? Will you powdercoat or paint? Watch out for abuses of your system (or welcome them), for instance, for a 300 dollar deposit, I'd gladly abuse the system in return of a Frame/fork/wheelset.

    Also, another concern is that if someone is newbie enough to consider using your system for valid reasons and/or it was designed, it's probably unlikely that they'll have the balance of the required build kit (down to correct diameter ST, front Drlr, BB shell compatibility, etc), nor the sophistication/tools to assemble it, nor the desire to pay a shop to do it for them.

    Just some thoughts. Sign me up for the System Abuse...XL frames available for "testing," right?


    Quote Originally Posted by Walt
    Free frames.

    1) I will build several relatively heavy, cheap (think mostly lower-end cromoly tubing - probably frame weights around 4.5-5 pounds) and generic geometry 29er frames and a couple of beefy (36 spoke, touring rims) wheelsets. I'll put some 29er tires on the wheels and put tubes in the tires, and I'll put disc tabs AND canti bosses on so that all you'll need to build the frame up will be your current bike parts and some elbow grease.

    2) I will offer these frames to ANYONE for FREE, though I'll have to require some kind of deposit to make sure that nobody decides to walk off with a frame.

    Here's how I imagine it working:
    - Pay a $300 deposit (paypal, credit card, whatever) to cover my costs in case you decide to take the bike and flee to Mexico or something.
    - I ship you a frame, fork, and wheelset (shipping costs are deducted from your deposit). You get to keep these items for 2 weeks, in which time you can ride them as much as you want. If you break something through idiocy or neglect, it comes out of your deposit.
    - You pay NO fees to "rent" the parts. This is merely a trial, and as such there's no charge. I can't officially "rent" you a bike anyway, my insurance doesn't cover it.
    - Likewise, if you don't return the frame at least vaguely on time, I keep some portion of your deposit.
    - You're responsible for returning the parts in their original condition unless we agree that something broke and it wasn't your fault.

    Does this sound like a worthwhile idea to you guys and gals? Would anyone be interested in trying a frame? If nobody wants to do it, I won't waste my time building them, but I believe in the 29er enough that I'm willing to make an effort if I think it'll get more people on big wheels. And if some of those people get frames from me, so much the better. I know that most of the people on this board already have a 29er (or two!) but if you think you know someone that would like to try one out, have them contact me.
    -Walt
    FS: Everything

  4. #4
    Frame Building Moderator
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    Good points.

    I imagine I can just throw in a seatpost and front derailleur - neither of those is expensive or fragile. The BB question is a good one too - though 68x113 is pretty standard, and what I design most of my frames around. The frames would of course be powdercoated for durability. Heck, I could probably just build them up completely with beefy but cheap (think Deore) parts and raise the deposit a bit, to say $500. Then you'd just have to unpack and do some basic assembly.

    So the remaining question would be tools/building. That would certainly be a problem for some people, but a lot of the folks who are "newbies" to 29" are old hands in terms of general mountain biking - might be less of a problem than you think.

    And I'm not sure it's worth it to "abuse" the system - you have to unpack and assemble the bike, pay shipping both ways, disassemble and repack the bike, and repair/pay for damage that you caused - that's a lot of effort and a significant amount of money for a 2 week ride. Trust me, you won't be able to break a frame or wheel I built - unless you're willing to really sacrifice your body in the process.

    Thanks for the feedback!

    -Walt

  5. #5
    WAWE
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    Great idea, Walt.

    I've seen similar scenarios on other (non-bike) forums... for example, someone who owns a propietary/expensive tool and offers to loan it out The borrower sends in a deposit, uses it, and passes it on to the next person on the list.

  6. #6
    law talkin' guy
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    Great Idea

    I would most likely take you up on that offer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Walt
    Free frames. Yes, that's right. Keep reading.

    Cloxxi - if this is too blatantly commercial, please delete the thread with my apologies. For what it's worth, I don't stand to directly make any money from this.

    Ok, here's the situation. I really like 29ers. Some of you may remember me as the grumpy skeptic who used to pick arguments on this board (remember the "scientific study" that proved 29ers faster?) Well, the joke is on me, as I've been riding and loving my 29er for the last 4 months or so. I will never ride 26" wheels again, unless I'm on my dirtjumper. I still have my doubts about that "science", but I know what I like, and I love my 29" wheels. You can have 'em when you pry them from my cold, dead.... well, you get the picture.

    Many of the people on this list post a question about where they can find a 29er to try, but it seems they are often discouraged from giving one a shot for one or more of the following reasons:
    1) Short on cash, can't afford frame, fork, wheelset, tires. Even going totally cheapskate, this usually adds up to at least $500 ($90 KM fork, $200 used KM frame, $100 cheap wheels, $50-100 tires/tubes).
    2) No 29ers available at my local shops, or my local shops won't let me try one except in the parking lot.
    3) Don't know anyone who has one they'll loan to me.

    Here's my proposed solution. I build frames, previously as a hobby, and now as a full fledged business (though I'm not about to quit my day job). So:

    1) I will build several relatively heavy, cheap (think mostly lower-end cromoly tubing - probably frame weights around 4.5-5 pounds) and generic geometry 29er frames and a couple of beefy (36 spoke, touring rims) wheelsets. I have at least one Karate Monkey fork sitting in the shop, and I can easily order in a few more. I'll put some 29er tires on the wheels and put tubes in the tires, and I'll put disc tabs AND canti bosses on so that all you'll need to build the frame up will be your current bike parts and some elbow grease.

    2) I will offer these frames to ANYONE for FREE, though I'll have to require some kind of deposit to make sure that nobody decides to walk off with a frame.

    Here's how I imagine it working:
    - Pay a $300 deposit (paypal, credit card, whatever) to cover my costs in case you decide to take the bike and flee to Mexico or something.
    - I ship you a frame, fork, and wheelset (shipping costs are deducted from your deposit). You get to keep these items for 2 weeks, in which time you can ride them as much as you want. If you break something through idiocy or neglect, it comes out of your deposit.
    - You pay NO fees to "rent" the parts. This is merely a trial, and as such there's no charge. I can't officially "rent" you a bike anyway, my insurance doesn't cover it.
    - Likewise, if you don't return the frame at least vaguely on time, I keep some portion of your deposit.
    - You're responsible for returning the parts in their original condition unless we agree that something broke and it wasn't your fault.

    3) After the trial period, if you want to get a 29er, you're all set (of course, I'd love to build you one, but I have no real beef with people getting ANY 29er, since many of them are made by independent framebuilders like me - and Gary Fisher and Surly are good companies too). And if you decide 29ers aren't for you, you've only lost the cost of shipping the frame from me to you and back - probably $50-60 at most (unless you live outside the US).

    Want your SO to try a 29er? Got a friend that you don't trust with your precious 29er that keeps bugging you to borrow it? Live in a cave in Wyoming and haven't seen one around yet? Want to get to beat on someone else's frame and wheels without having to pay for the privelege? Then this is the deal for you.

    Does this sound like a worthwhile idea to you guys and gals? Would anyone be interested in trying a frame? If nobody wants to do it, I won't waste my time building them, but I believe in the 29er enough that I'm willing to make an effort if I think it'll get more people on big wheels. And if some of those people get frames from me, so much the better. I know that most of the people on this board already have a 29er (or two!) but if you think you know someone that would like to try one out, have them contact me.

    Once again, apologies if this post is inappropriate.

    -Walt

  7. #7
    Frame Building Moderator
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    Folks who are interested - just email me.

    No need for a post unless you have some feedback you want everyone to hear. Just email me. [email protected] or [email protected]. I've heard from a couple of people so far, the idea now is to give it a few days and see if there's a sufficient pool of "applicants" to make this worth my time.

    -Walt

  8. #8
    paintbucket
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    A thought...

    What if you built bikes in different geometry (72-72, 73-71, TT lengths, BB heights, etc.--your choice of variables) but the same "size". Like 4 larges each with different characteristics. That would give those of us who don't have a clue about how one of these bikes is going to handle the opportunity to try out different setups before buying. Something like (in addition to the deal you laid out to start) $500 gets you a frame for 2 weeks and then another frame for 2 weeks once you've returned the first one.

    I think it'd take a pretty good capital outlay on your part, but I also bet you'd get customers from it as well. Basically you'd be providing test beds for rider experimentation before they went custom.
    When the going gets weird its bedtime.

  9. #9

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    Fantastic idea Walt, I'd definitely be in there, but I imagine shipping to europe would be prohibitively expensive - and I'm pretty close to getting a monkey anyhow...

    I think the kind of abuse Nate was talking about was someone taking you up on your deal and then never returning your stuff.

    Good on you for doing this!

    Sam

  10. #10
    Cassoulet forever !
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    Sam question as above : i'm very interested, but i'm in France. How much would the shipping cost ? A lot i'm affraid...

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